Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 27: July 1999

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. Clarecraft Discworld Event 1999
5. CMOT Briggs' Office Is Open - Merchandise and Competition
6. Recommendations
7. Review: The Science of Discworld
8. Feature: What If Disney Did Discworld? - Part 2
9. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 27. Last month I asked about other Discworld fan organizations. It appears there is a German Discworld fan club and newsletter, which has an audience of around 700 people. It is located at

Unfortunatley Danu ran out of time this month so there is no DiscTriva. Hoplefully Danu will have caught up by next month.

Jason Anthony (Editor)
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (Phantom Menace Flyer)

2. News

"J H" ( ) has created a program that, using the format for spells on the Discworld, generates random spells (ie, Sumpjumper's Forthright Bouquet). The program should run on Windows 3.1 and later, and its web site, still under construction, is at

The Book Shelf, sell all Terry Pratchett books and charge 1.50GBP + postage for international orders. They believe this will work out cheaper and quicker than waiting for the books to come out in the respective countries.

"Men At Arms" will be performed at Canberra Repertory Theatre, 3 Ellery Circuit, ACTON at from July 2nd until July 17th with one Saturday Matinee. Bookings (02) 62571950

The London Bubble Theatre Company will be performing an outdoor promenade or 'walkabout' version of a new adaptation of Lords and Ladies from 20th July to 29th August. The adaptation is by Bubble Artistic Director Johnathan Petherbridge. The tour will spend a week in each of six parks: Valentine's Park - Ilford, Grenwich Park, Chiswick House Grounds, Oxleas Woods, Beckenham Place Park - Bromley and Dulwich Park. For tickets phone the Box Office on 0171 237 1663. Or visit

Ex Perfect Entertainment employee Dave Johnston owns most of the animation frames used in the second Discworld Game. He now wants to sell them. Single frames are 7.95GBP and a five pack is 29.95GBP + Postage. Your frame will be selected at random and is individually numbered and guaranteed authentic. For more information email

Small Ads....

"Anna Sjostrom" ( ) is from Sweden and want to get in contact with other Swedish Terry Pratchett Fans. She say: If your not from Sweden write anyway. But I'm not very good at writing in English.

"George Vilahu" ( ) is looking for information about a retired scientist that has dedicated himself to rescuing oranutans from a company that has brought large quantities from the US government. He would like to know the name, address, email or web page of the organization he formed.

"Ciaran Charalambou" ( ) has a new yahoo club at

"Debbie" ( ) would like to thank all those wonderful people out there who got in touch with her with regards the Discworld game - there were too many to thank individually.

"Wee Mad Howard" ( ) is looking for someone who has a graphics program and a little time on their hands to help him create a banner ad for his website? His paint program stinks, and he can't afford to buy a photoshop program.

"mrwhite" ( ) would like to apologise to some people who ICQ'd him because he accidentally refused them, if they ask again they won't be turned down. would like to know if there is any Discworld fan club in Belgium. Or if there is enough interest to create one.

"Brett McFarlane" ( ) is looking for Discworld clubs in New Zealand, and also wants to know where you can obtain the movies.

"Simon Read" ( ) is looking for Discworld themes, backgrounds and screen savers.

"Brenden" ( ) put an ad in last month's issue about ICQ but forgot to include his ICQ number. He says it is 31952820 and feel free to add him to your contact list. He also says he has finished both Discworld games and would love to help anyone who is stuck.

"DragyPuff" ( ) wants people who consider Angua as their 1st, 2nd or 3rd favourite character to get in contact.

"Ragnhild Skaar" ( ) wants to know: Does anyone know of a Norwegian Discworld society? Preferably in the south of Norway.

"Firestarr" ( ) writes: In Canada (and possibly the US) when you purchase Discworld 2 you receive Discworld 1 for free. It does not always say so on the box but if you look for the system requirements it gives you two sets, one for each game.

"Damien Kavanagh" ( ) want to know if anyone has the original Clarecraft model of the Discworld that they would like to sell, as his girlfriend has just destroyed his.

"Chris Sills" ( ) is looking for the From the Discworld album by Dave Greenslade.

"Melissa Jubb" ( ) has the first Discworld game for PC to sell. It is as new, in the box with full instructions included.

"p. alder" ( ) is looking for an e-pal, either male or female, 20-30 and is a big fan of Pratchett and many other fantasy/sci fi. He/she will try and respond to all letters sent.

"Alison Barrett" ( ) wonders if Pratchett books are available in Switzerland / East France, since she's going to move there from XXXX, and would love to read some books in translation (French). And says: I'd be delighted to meet some Swiss PTerry fans, if any would like to write to me.

"Lavie Tidhar" ( ) has a web site dedicated to listing every book signing/author event coming up in London, and of course attempts to list all TP appearances. It is assumed to be the only online resource today for finding out about book signings in the UK. It's at

"Nathan Clissold" ( ) says: If Disney (Gods forbid) or any other movie studio did do "Discworld: The Movie" who would play the characters? Our web site has quite a few possible contenders.

3. Readers' Letters

If you have any letters/comments, please email

We assume any correspondence is eligible for use in the newsletter unless otherwise stated, including the sender's email address. We may also edit your letters to make you sound like a petty 'Discworld trivia' obsessed reader.

Each month the writer of the month's best letter will receive two Discworld badges with PTerry quotes on them from Snapdragon Gifts. You can contact Snapdragon Gifts at or Please mention DWM in any correspondence.

* From: "Mark Oosterveen" ( )
Now look, I know this is a bit petty, but if you're going to do some trivia questions every month you may as well get them right. Firstly, Drum Billet was NOT reincarnated as a tree in Equal Rites, he was reincarnated as an ant (read the last section). Secondly, Miss Flitworth didn't die during the harvest dance, she died as soon as she saw Death, from a heart attack. What makes the whole harvest dance thing so romantic, for me anyway, is that Miss Flitworth and Death both dance the night away despite the fact that neither of them are really there. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

JA Replies: You're quite right! We like to ensure at least one question each month is incorrect. It ensures we get a nice flow of letters like this pointing out the error of our ways. This month we obviously hit a raw nerve. The following Discworld fans also wrote to us about it., , ,, ,, , , ,, ,, , .

* From: "Ingrid Storro" ( )
I have a question/correction to last month's trivia.

Who was saved by Susan in the Drum?
Imp Y Celyn

I'm wondering, isn't this actually wrong? Susan was indeed planning to use her power to save Imp y Celyn, but did not have the time to do so before the music itself filled his lifetimer. So she ended up not having to do anything to save his life there. She did, however, interfere a bit when the thugs from the Musicians' Guild were going to hurt the entire band for not paying the guild enrollment fee.

JA Replies: The question should have read: Who was Susan planning to save in the Drum? Although I got the question wrong, nearly all the entrants into the competition understood what I meant.

* From: "Andrew J Raby" ( )
Before I incur the wrath of PTerry fans world-wide by coming across as a sad-lad "it might not be real, but there's no reason it can't be accurate" type I'd just like to point out that I KNOW IT'S NOT REAL!!! However there is something that's been bugging me for years now and I cant keep it to myself any more!!!!

Has anyone else noticed the confusion over which way the Luggage faces? No, I thought not. But wait - The Luggage is always said to "look at" or show "expressions" with a key-hole and a couple of knot-holes - so clearly the "front" of your average trunk, and it stands to reason that the side opposite the hinges would naturally form a "mouth" when the lid opens. However, All Josh Kirby's cover illustrations and just about every other representation of the Luggage (including Clarecraft's?) show the feet pointing to one end and propelling the box of malice sideways - why? Also - why are the legs always shown as just coming out of the edges and not the base? There are hundreds of legs, surely some appear in the middle of the base.

Anyway, that's my gripe, I'll go back to my sad little obsessive, anally-retentive existence.

* From: "Pete Hartman" ( )
A few notes on the various things being discussed this (to be past) month:

Cordwainer Smith's works can be gotten in one lump from NESFA Press, PO Box 809, Framingham, MA 01701-0203, USA. They have published a book called "The Rediscovery of Man" which is his complete short science fiction, and also have republished his novel "Norstrilia".

Making this more widely useful, searching turns up another edition of "Rediscovery", published by Millennium Books; ISBN: 1857988191. It even has a PTerry quote on the cover. I don't think that it's the complete works as the NESFA edition is, because the review says that it starts with "Scanners Live in Vain", whereas the NESFA edition organizes the stories chronologically, and starts with "No, No, Not Rogov!"

I would strongly second the recommendations; his style is very unique, and his stories are captivating. They're set in a common universe (hence the chronological ordering), but span centuries.

* From: "ConMan" ( )
Re Richard Epp's analysis of Rincewind's dilemma:

While being the eighth son of an eighth son automatically qualifies someone for being a wizard, there are a few other ways to gain entry into UU (all thanks to Equal Rites): "The first is to achieve some great work of magic, such as the recovery of an ancient or powerful relic or the invention of a totally new spell..." which is damn unlikely considering Rincewind's latent magical ability (or lack thereof), but maybe he tripped over a small fragment of sapient pearwood, or some amulet, then cursed at it for being in the way and didn't get around to chucking it out.

"... the more typical method was to be sponsored by a senior and respected wizard, after a suitable period of apprenticeship" of course, after sponsoring Rincewind, he would be a totally unrespectable and probably dead wizard, particularly if he didn't notice the lack of talent during the apprenticeship.

In Interesting Times, Ridcully says that Rincewind can become a wizard by performing a deed to the benefit of magic, which he apparently did by solving the Agatea situation, although, considering that this was Rincewind, committing suicide would probably be more of a benefit to magic.

Meanwhile, still on a Rincewind note, everyone knows that Rincewind has done magic twice, once due to the spell, and once due to the sourceror, but what about when he opened that lock in Light Fantastic?

JA Replies: Chris gets this month's Letter of the Month for his well researched letter.

* From: "K Massam" ( )
Richard epp asked in last months letters page about how Rincewind knew that he was a Wizard, since his mother ran away before he was born, and he has no known siblings/relatives. I can only point out that as an eighth son of an eighth son, he would be able to see octarine, the colour of magic. This is a massive giveaway that even Rincewind would be able to work out, and he would therefore know what to do, where to go, and so on.

* From: "Kirsi Kaustio" ( )
I have been reading DW Monthly for about a year now, and so far the newsletter has been excellent. However, last number's "What if Disney did Discworld" was, in my opinion, WAY over the top. I just happen to be one of those people whose love for the Discworld novels is surpassed ONLY by their love for Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time AND their absolute adoration of Disney's full-length animated films.

I forgive you just this once. Just... try not to irritate me any more, OK? And by the way, if one of the readers of DW monthly just HAPPENS to love Disney, please throw some kind of a message in my general direction. We Are Always Looking For Other People Who Understand. That's why I read Discworld Monthly, for heaven's sake!

JA replies: It wasn't meant as an attack on Disney, just what they might do to Discworld. We are not anti Disney; Bill for example really fancies the female lion in the Lion King.

* From: "Pamela Roberts" ( )
I just wanted to say that I loved the Disney Discworld scenario. I have a thought: Disney movies ALWAYS have a cute, wisecracking, sidekick, creature that hangs around the main character. For the Discworld would this be Nobby?

* From: "Peter Hart" ( )
In reply to Bob Southwell's letter of Issue 26, about Susan's badge switches sides or something during her interview: someone's been paying far too much attention to young girls' breasts, haven't they?

* From: "Paul E Richardson" ( )
In Issue 26, Bob Southwell asked if anyone else had noticed the School Badge on Susan's uniform moved about during her interview with Miss Butts. Being a fairly sad person, I had to check. He was right! At the start of the interview the badge was on the left side, after Susan re-appeared it had moved to the right but then moved back to the left. As the black streak in her hair stayed on the same side, I assume this was a straight forward cock-up rather than a reversal of the image.

* From: "Suzanne Moss" ( )
Does anybody else think that the animated versions of Wyrd Sisters and Soul Music were crap?

None of the characters looked right and funny bits were completely unfunnied. The only good bits were the backgrounds but no matter how hard I tried I just couldn't look at them and ignore the rest of it all the way through. With the standard of actors who did the voices you would have thought that the animators and directors would be the same. Above all, half the characters didn't have bottom lips! It would be good if a different company could animate other books. Any chance of that happening?

WB replies: How about NOT animating the other books.

* From: "Mike Jackson" ( )
With reference to the continuing discussions on the Discworld time line. "Eslington" appears to think that the limiting factor within the books is the librarian. He, She or It (Eslington could be an Ape) couldn't be further from the truth.

The appearance of the Librarian or in fact anyone with access to the library at unseen university or any other library on the Discworld at any particular point in time in any of the books is not a reliable record of time passing or not passing. What "Eslington" and many other people have forgotten about is "L-space".

* From: "Damien Corbishley" ( )
Replying about Richard Burton's idea about favourite one-liners. A great idea.. the line that makes me laugh, I think above all else is:

"Furgle, Owner of a horn which sounded itself when danger was near... and also in the presence of, for some reason. horseradish."

* From: "anton fowler" ( )
I recently bought a copy of the science of the Discworld and was disappointed. It is NOT a new Discworld story but rather a "Hard Science" book containing a very good short story by HIMSELF.

BUT to read the story is like panning for gold as it is split up and scattered throughout the book. So you need to search through the gravel of "HARD SCIENCE" to find the nuggets of TP's golden words. But it is worth it in the end as you find a highly enjoyable short story.

One more thing I think a book of collected short stories telling us what happens next for his "one off" characters like Coin - Soucery, Esk - Equal Rites, Teppic - Pyramids, Vince - Moving Pictures and the "Werewolf" couple from Reaperman would be very good (as all ways).

Is it just me or are the little blue men in Carpe Jugulum a lot like the smurfs?

* From: "Nicola Palmer" ( )
I did my bit and forced my dad to read TCOM and having nagged him for several weeks to finish the book I asked him how he'd got on. His reply was 'Its a comedy is it...hmm that's where I went wrong then, I thought it was one of those serious literature type novels'.

However I will persevere and get him to read TLF even if I have to read it aloud at the dinner table to the whole family every night. Just think how awful it would be never to have discovered DW. Perhaps other readers will have better luck with their crumblies.

* From: "Liz" ( )
In the early 80's I worked for BT in Colchester with someone called Josh Kirby, who was an artist as well as a lowly office person like myself. I have often wondered whether it is the same person. Can you help?

* From: "Chris Rodgers" ( )
Has anyone else noticed that the gonne fires seven times after it's last reload in "Men at Arms"?

  1. Fires accidently while Vimes and Dr Cruces struggle
  2. Vimes shoots off the door
  3. Shoots at roof to send guild members running
  4. Shoots chandelier for same said purpose
  5. Shoots another lock
  6. Hole in wall by the good Dr's head
  7. Discharges when dropped
Do i get any kind of award if I'm the first to notice?

4. Clarecraft Discworld Event 1999

Elton Murphy writes about the upcoming Clarecraft Discworld Event 1999 from Friday 30th July to Sunday 1st August 1999. For more information visit Clarecraft's web site at

Well, this one has surpassed all expectations. We were aiming for around 1000 attendees this year and are *already* up to 1200!! The farm is large enough for a few more, so book your tickets if you'd like to join us.

I've had quite a few people indicate that they will be bringing a fancy tent. This is one thing that we are really looking forward to. Could this be the first ever 'Tent Maskerade'? I doubt it, but it must be the first ever Discworld Tent Maskerade!!

Please remember that the this is an *outdoor* event and, if you are camping, you will need to cater for all weather conditions just in case. Also, we provide the normal outside catering that you may see at an agricultural show or any other outside event. Whilst this *should* be of reasonable quality, those wanting something a little
more advanced may want to either bring their own cooking equipment or search out a local pub.

The theme of this Event is Carpe Jugulum. That doesn't mean that you *have* to dress up as a character if you are entering the Maskerade, but we do expect quite a few people to.

Supersoakers are not compulsory..... unless you're a regular on :-)

That's it for now - if you have any queries, please email

Tickets can be ordered by asking for a booking form or at:

5. CMOT Briggs' Office Is Open - Merchandise and Competition

Stephen Briggs is well known to Discworld fans as the co-author of The Discworld Companion, the Discworld Maps and the adaptations of the Discworld novels to stage. In his role of CMOT Dibbler he also sells various tasty objects from the Discworld. Don't ask how but we have convinced Mr Dibbler that it wouldn't be cutting his own throat to offer some of his sausage-on-a-sticks as a competition prize, but we had to list some of his merchandise first.

The following products are from the Unseen University range, other ranges include The City Watch, The Badges and The Pens.

Was the only exam you ever passed the 11 plus? If so you could now be a Bachelor of Fluencing (B.F.) from the Discworld's premier college of wizardry, but you'll need to get more than 88% on the exam paper first. If you don't want a degree but might like to be a Doctor, you could apply for an Unseen University Doctorate. Part of your doctorate fees even help the Orangutan Foundation! Help save the Librarian.

All students should wrap up worm this winter with an Unseen University Scarf, which has four longitudinal stripes and the UU crest at one end. And if it's not winter then don't panic, get the T-Shirt instead.

CMOT Briggs has offered the following prizes:

1st prize

A super snazzy Discworld pen. Laser engraved with Terry Pratchett's signature on matt black Parker pen. This is one of the last of a short run, worth 25 GBP.

2nd, 3rd, 4th prizes

An Assassins' Guild prefect's badge, in full colour enamel.

To win the above pieces you must answer the following questions, as set by Mr Dibbler himself. Please send your answers along with your postal address (it is important to include your postal address, it makes my life much easier) to before Friday 23rd July 1999. The winners will be selected at random.

  1. Which two streets run onto Misbegot Bridge?
  2. How many peaks are there in the Paps of Scilla?
  3. What is the principal motif on the shield of the Embalmers' Guild?

For more detailed information about CMOT Briggs' products email and ask for a product / price list.

6. Recommendations

In order to reduce the size of the letters section with large letters recommending other authors we thought we'd keep things simple buy listing the name of the person doing the recommendation and the recommendation itself.

Discworld FanAuthor
"Karen Relton" Robin Hobb, Stephen Lawhead, Guy Gavriel Kay
"Steven Rauch" Robert Asprin
"Michael Houston" Craig Shaw Gardner
"Chris Weeks" Matthew Thomas
"James Bailey" Terry Pratchett - Good Omens!
"vpenner" Jerome K Jerome, Gordon Korman, Tom Stoppard Patricia Wrede, Elizabeth Moon, Maurice Leblanc and Steven Saylor
"Jennifer Holt" Connie Willis

7. Review: The Science of Discworld

The Science of Discworld was co-written by Terry Pratchett, Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart. Ian and Jack are a mathematician and reproductive biologist respectively. [WB - oo-er! Sex!] Having seen both of them at last year's Convention I think I can safely describe them as (slightly) mad scientists.

The book starts with the Wizards of Unseen University trying to split the Thaum (the basic unit of magical strength). When they accidentally produce too much magic, HEX decides to pour the magic into creating the round-world experiment. The book then goes into the explanation of the origins of our Universe. After which it settles into alternating between Wizards (actually quite often Rincewind in his virtually-there suit) and an explanation of what they witness.

The Wizard side of the book is not as funny as a normal Discworld book, being confined (most of the time) to the HEM building. You get some of the usual bickering between Ridcully and the Dean but no real story line. I am not sure where this book should fit in with the chronology of the Discworld novels but something happens to one of the Faculty that could make future story development interesting.

The scientific explanations get terribly involved at times, although there are some genuinely funny comments to be found. I enjoyed the dissection and rejection of the explanation of why the kangaroo cannot jump. On occasion I had to re-read sections to understand what was being stated. Perhaps this is due to only being educated to A-level physics, and not knowing much about Schrodinger's Cat, Quantum Physics and interferometry (the use of two or more small telescopes set far apart to produce much bigger magnification than a single large telescope). Jack and Ian have attempted to reduce the history of the Universe into one book, and it does make interesting reading.

I'm not sure who the book is aimed at. I know a lot of Discworld fans are well educated or are at least students (surely they cant be both - WB), but there is quite a lot of heavy science here. This book, although interesting to read, is hardly Discworld. From what I understand this book is part of an ongoing campaign to get more people into science by mixing it with a very popular fantasy series.

Next month Richard Massey, who is more highly educated in Physics than myself (but cant read as fast - Ed), will be adding his opinions about The Science of Discworld.

If you would like to try the book out for yourself you can purchase it from from the URL below. At the end of June it was being sold at nearly 50% off its cover price. 0091865158/87

8. Feature: What If Disney Did Discworld? - Part 2

Anthea Swee Chin Tan writes a warning about too much commercialism in Discworld. Can you imagine a world where Disney produces Discworld Musicals?

The feature below is a work of complete fiction based on Men at Arms. If you haven't read Men at Arms don't read this. To the best of our knowledge Disney is not planning to make a Discworld musical.

[Continued from issue 26]

[a shallow adaptation of the plot is advanced slightly]

Now, see a scene where Carrot is walking Angua to her home in the shades in the evening. The moon is full and she is getting agitated trying to get away from him. Finally she gets him to go and is left alone. She sighs, and with the moonlight shining on her long blonde hair, she sings the obligatory heroine song about hopes and dreams:

[as she walks down the alleyways, dogs perk up their ears and follow her]

he's such a nice boy
but I have to be coy
because he'll never understand
when he reaches for my hand
and finds that it's a...


[sexy and sultry music starts up with the brass section reminiscent of the 40s and 50s. Dogs form a choir and howl musically in the background.]

it ain't easy being me,
it ain't easy having PLT,
it ain't easy when the moon's in your eye,
and you're there with your guy
and you rip out his throat with one bite
that's not polite

(Oooo Oooo Oooo - dogs)

it ain't easy growing fur,
or having extra nipples, no sir
(Did I say this was for kids?)
it ain't easy eating lettuce and tomatoes,
when all you really want are juicy toes,
to crunch and munch and swallow with delight
don't worry - I won't bite

(tender chorus with tender oooing from the doggies - Angua leans against a lamp-post)

all i wish for all i need
is a place where i can be myself
a place i can be seen and
not fear the angry mobs
that descend a-pounding on my door
because i dined and left behind
all the blood and gore (big brass note)

it ain't easy being me,
it ain't easy having PLT,
it ain't easy when you like a guy,
but he thinks you're aloof,
cos you're afraid to tell him the truth...

(cheesy strings build up to final line)

O Carrot, will you accept me? Fur and all?
(she changes into a wolf and howls the last line)
(she runs off)

(ending ooo from the dogs - who stop following her and go about their business. One particularly scruffy one cocks a leg against the lamp-post and goes after her.)

[a shallow adaptation of the plot is advanced even further]

The next part of this feature will appear in a future issue.

9. The End

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